Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why do I quilt?

I have to backup a little before I answer that question. I spent last weekend in San Francisco for my sister's wedding. I have been very busy leading up to this trip with Quilt Market and making my dress for the wedding. I didn't have much time to plan my travel project. Now I have a hand applique project that I have been working on for the last 3 years. The pattern is Mexican Rose from Applique Quilts from 2005. It was designed by Donna McCall. I only work on it in airports and on planes it seems. It has become my flying project. I have finished one block and am well into the second. I found it goes much faster if I turn the edges at home and can focus on sewing. That is where the problem stemmed from for this trip. I needed to cut out more pieces and turn the edges. I use the starch and press method to prepare my pieces. I starch (or use sizing) the edges and press them down to the wrong side. Of course, this all requires a few minutes to prepare and I just didn't seem able to put it together in time.

So did I leave without something to keep me busy? Of course not. I have been intrigued by the dimensional flowers and have been considering putting them together with those mirrors I keep talking about. I saw mirrors used in a ceremonial coat in Seattle last winter and keep thinking about how to incorporate them in a quilt, to the point of feeling haunted by them. I quickly cut the required squares to fold into roses, following the directions of Rebecca Wat and her book Fantastic Fabric Folding. I made one rose before I left, and came home with only that one rose.

Which brings me to this question about why I quilt. Seems like a stretch, I know. I quilt because I love fabric and I love how the colors play together. I learned to sew making garments. I still make some clothes, my dress for the wedding, my own wedding dress, a shirt here and there. I still enjoy making clothes, but I have to make something I might actually wear. Quite frankly, my clothing color choices are far more boring than my quilt color choices. I wear alot of black and navy with a few colors thrown in. I just can't seem to wear that fuchsia pink and lime green combination that I can put together in a quilt.

I cut out those squares for the roses, contemplating what colors to take along and what I would eventually do with them. For me it's about the feel of the fabric and putting the colors together. I love planning a quilt and playing with different color combinations. I love making the quilt and seeing the blocks and the quilt come together. I especially love finished the quilt and then laying it out on the bed and running my hands over the beautiful results. I didn't need to sew and fold any of those squares this past weekend. I just needed them with me to take out and look at once in a while, admiring the shades of red and the feel of the fabric. Someday I'll fold all those flowers and someday I'll have 12 blocks of the Mexican Rose. I've heard Mark Lipinski say we are often buying the dream of a quilt when we buy fabric. That is what I have, a dream (Oh, and alot of fabric to play with).
So why do you quilt?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Almost Time

I'm almost ready. This is what I call the almost time. I am leaving on Thursday for San Francisco. My youngest sister is getting married on Saturday. I'm traveling with Jen and family. If you go by ages, she is sister 3. I have 4 all together. Jen and family and I make up 6 people, a whole row on the airplane. No we are not flying United! Here she is with the kids. Honey cannot come for this trip. He has had to go back to work.

I have my suitcase out, although not yet packed. My "probably" clothes are on the bed, waiting to see if they will make the final cut. My dress and shoes for the wedding festivities are ready to go. Everything is almost ready. Tomorrow I have to make the final decisions. Should I take the brown capri's or the black ones? or both? Do I take 3 pairs of shoes or 4? This weekend is going to be one of those trips where I will need at least 2 outfits for everyday, 1 dressy, 1 more casual. That means 6 changes of clothes, plus a few extra tops and an extra pair of pants in case I change my mind. (I'm sure you have NEVER experienced that.) You'll notice there are not nearkly enough clothes on the bed yet, Of course I always carry an extra pair of socks and an extra pair of underwear. Fortunately I have never needed them (I did come close on my Portland trip though). I think I'll put them in my carry on this time. Then for sure I won't need them.

I am pulling my travel project together. I'm trying to exorcise those mirror ghosts again. I'm trying out some dimensional flowers with a few mirrors thrown in. I was thinking about a carousel horse, but I don't have time to plan that out right. Instead I will go for a practice run on the flowers and maybe put them in a vase. I guess I'll have to get that worked out tonight. I have my books packed. I went to the library this afternoon and picked out a couple books. Edith Head's Hollywood and Couture An Illustrated History of the Great Paris Designers and Their Creations. Edith Head's Hollywood is the story of Edith Head's career in costume design. She dressed all the greats from Mae West in She Done Him Wrong to Robert Redford and Paul Newman in The Sting. How could I not be intrigued? This will certainly be first on my list. As for the second book, Couture, haven't you always wondered where today's fashions come from?

It's almost time and I am almost ready. I'd better get a little something for the kids on the plane. It's going to be a long ride for them.
PS. Too bad BooBoo can't go this time. He's ready.

Monday, June 2, 2008

In case you've been wondering...

If I seem like I've been a little distracted recently, I suppose I have.

Quilt Market was great! My patterns will be available wholesale from Pattern Peddlers. I shipped out the last package today.

My dress for my sister's wedding is almost finished. I tried it on today and am very happy with how it is turning out. It need a hem and the jacket need a little hemming. Here is it on Dressy Bessy. The wedding will be in San Francisco. You never really know what the temperature will be like. We are taking a short cruise under the Bay Bridge. A breeze of the water can be pretty chilly also. I just thought I would play it safe.

I still need to quilt my Parade of Flowers Quilt. That's next on my list. I'm hoping to get that finished before I leave for the wedding. I have about a week and a half left. It will be on display at Millcreek Vac as well as my Floral Delight quilt when I get it back from Benartex.
In the meantime, I have also finished the Chocolate Creams pattern and the Poinsettia Holiday. They are now available on my website.

I've been saving the best for last. We adopted a new puppy. His name is Bailey. He's an 8 month old Shih Tzu. He was neglected by his previous owner, but is settling in nicely with my little boys. He's also learning his manners. and has had quite a haircut. The groomer took off a pound and a half of hair. My goodness!
I'm really looking forward to my sister's wedding. The fun of the festivities and family will be great. My aunts will be there in addition to most of the immediate family. I'm am also looking forward to the break, short though it will be. When I return, I've got a couple great ideas for new quilts!